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Friendship Cake with Fruit Cocktail

My mom used to make "Fruit Cocktail Dessert." The recipe:
1 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 beaten egg
1 (#2) can fruit cocktail, drained
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. chopped nuts

Sift together flour, sugar, and baking soda. Add beaten egg and fruit cocktail.

Put into greased 8" square baking dish. Mix together brown sugar and nuts. Sprinkle over top.

Bake in 300 F. oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Serve with whipped cream.

Nov 12, 2014
elegraph in Home Cooking

Food or food related magazines?

I love Saveur magazine and give subscription gifts every year. I read it cover to cover when it arrives although I seldom cook from it. I have e-subscriptions to Eating Well and AllRecipes but the content isn't as interesting as Saveur. I'm always on the lookout for food trends, new ideas for old stand-byes, and inspiration for this week's suppers. I used to subscribe to Cooks Illustrated but dropped them because of their obnoxious, never-ending marketing.

Nov 07, 2014
elegraph in Food Media & News
1

undercooked chicken schnitzel, HELP!!

Try microwaving them then re-fry them if they get soggy.

Nov 06, 2014
elegraph in Home Cooking

Enough televised cooking competitions!

Other than occasional episodes of Chopped, I have no interest in and do not watch shows based on competitive cooking. I must not be part of the food networks' target market because there are more and more competitions taking place. I just want to watch the usual demonstrations that do not depend on winners and losers to supply the interest. I want ideas for how to use this herb, how to cook that grain, what to do with tonight's chicken. Does any one else turn the channel when these competitions come on?

Nov 06, 2014
elegraph in Food Media & News

How much should $1000 worth of groceries last a family of 4, 2 adults and 2 teens that eat like adults? Please help!

When my 3 boys were teens, I thought it would have been more efficient to feed them as the food came off the conveyor belt, instead of having to bag it up, haul it home, put it away, and have it gone by morning.

I think every family is different and our priorities vary as to convenience vs. cost. Also, if your teens are in a growth spurt, you will need to spend more until they level off.

Why boil brats?

Why beer? Milwaukee was once the home of numerous German breweries. The workers were allowed an allotment of beer to take home with them each day. The housewives quickly learned what to do with any excess beer: use it to simmer brats, spareribs, etc., often with a few sliced onions.

Simmering the brats beforehand ensures they will be cooked through after browning them on the grill. If you are cooking for a crowd, open-house style, you can grill up a bunch of brats then finish them in the simmering beer, keeping them warm and servable for several hours.

Here in Wisconsin I've seen them done both ways, and both are delicious.

Oct 28, 2014
elegraph in Home Cooking

favorite fish dish

Walnut-crusted, pan-fried walleye (available in some restaurants in the upper Midwest as well as my own kitchen).

Oct 21, 2014
elegraph in General Topics

"We don't take reservations for less than 6." Restaurant Owners Listen Up! [moved from Seattle board]

That;s good to know. Thanks!

Oct 21, 2014
elegraph in Not About Food

"We don't take reservations for less than 6." Restaurant Owners Listen Up! [moved from Seattle board]

" I can make a pretty darn good huevos rancheros (my favorite breakfast) at home..."

This statement calls into question our ability to satisfy you as a customer. Rather than serve you a meal that doesn't live up to your own cooking and have you bad-mouthing us all over town and the internet, I'd rather not serve you. Don't take it personally.

Chances are someone else is waiting for your table who will be delighted with their experience and will spread the good word. The best marketing for any business is positive word of mouth, and we try to achieve that with outstanding food and service.

This has been a thought-provoking discussion and I appreciate all the comments.

BTW...what restaurants in San Francisco accept reservations for breakfast? Next time I'm out there I might check them out and see how they do it.

Oct 19, 2014
elegraph in Not About Food

"We don't take reservations for less than 6." Restaurant Owners Listen Up! [moved from Seattle board]

I was thinking about supper clubs that sell steaks and prime rib; they rely on reservations so they know how much of each to prepare. We don't have to worry about preparing such expensive menu items. If we don't sell the bacon/eggs/hash browns etc. today, we will do so tomorrow, and they will still be cooked fresh to order.

We do not make a "chunk" on our Bloody Marys or any other beverage. Our coffee price has been the same for 12 years.

Also, when you show up at our door without a reservation, you seldom have to wait for a table. When there is a wait, it is generally 20 minutes or less.

And frankly, if you can cook a better breakfast at home, we prefer that you do so.

Oct 18, 2014
elegraph in Not About Food

"We don't take reservations for less than 6." Restaurant Owners Listen Up! [moved from Seattle board]

Thank you all for a good discussion.

First, I'm not exaggerating about seating a party of 26 without reservations. They were spread out among 3 tables. Two servers took their orders and turned in each ticket as it was filled. We have 4 cooks, one each assigned to eggs, potatoes, meats/pancakes, and toast. You'd be surprised how fast we can turn out meals for a large group, even with a complicated 6-page menu. And if you are #27, it doesn't make any difference to you if those 26 ahead of you are from one party or several, your wait will be the same.

Second, our no-reservations policy isn't about profit, it's ALL about customer service. Have you ever waited at a cash register in a retail store while the clerk deals with a customer on the phone? Don't you want to say, "Hey! I was here first! You should be waiting on ME!"?

And yes, we do have a bar and will happily sell you a Bloody Mary or whatever while you wait, or we will put out a pot of coffee for you, and sometimes we will comp the drinks to make up for a longer than usual wait.

Finally: We don't need to take reservations to fill our tables because we cook your meals to order, so we don't require an advance count of which foods to prepare. In general, I think reservations benefit the restaurant, not the customer.

Oct 17, 2014
elegraph in Not About Food
1

"We don't take reservations for less than 6." Restaurant Owners Listen Up! [moved from Seattle board]

Our family owns a popular breakfast place in a seasonal tourist destination. Although we don't accept reservations, we encourage parties of 8 or more to call ahead. We have hosted parties as large as 26 without prior reservations.

Our reason for the no reservations policy is out of concern for our guests who are waiting patiently at the door. (We do not steer them to the bar, although we will sell them drinks if they ask.) We run a wait list every weekend throughout the summer; very few customers are unwilling/unable to wait the 15 to 30 minutes for a table. I'm told that as our customers are leaving, they are telling the ones who are waiting that it is "worth the wait."

In a perfect world we would have exactly as many seats available as we have customers. As it is, I can't see making some customers wait at the door while they can clearly see empty tables which may or may not be filled by those with reservations.

Also, there aren't any golden arches out by our sign. You may have to wait, but we will feed you a delicious, home-cooked, memorable meal.

Thanksgiving and Christmas in the US

I couldn't agree more with do what you want and make your own traditions. My (grown-up) vegetarian son celebrates with meatless tacos or enchiladas. We (Irish-American) non-vegetarians have been known to observe Thanksgiving with New England boiled dinner (aka corned beef and cabbage). We also have had the traditional turkey dinner at Thanksgiving and a baked ham dinner at Christmas.

Some families celebrate Christmas with roast goose or duck. Agree with holding off on Christmas decorations until mid-December but admit that last year our beautiful green pine Christmas wreath adorned our front porch until well into May. (It was a long winter.)

Oct 03, 2014
elegraph in General Topics
1

The Great Bay Leaf Hoax

I was under the impression that the only variety of bay that is used in cooking is bay laurel. Botanically, what is the difference between California and Turkish bay? Are they both varieties of bay laurel?

Oct 03, 2014
elegraph in General Topics

Do you have a favorite fruit juice?

I drink Northland cranberry juice most often. I like grapefruit juice (white, not red) plain or with vodka. Otherwise, not a big fan of either fruit or juice.

Sep 24, 2014
elegraph in General Topics

Worst Cooking show Buzzwords

"Just like that."

Giada, Rachel, Kelsey, etc. etc.

Sep 24, 2014
elegraph in Food Media & News

Minimum Wage Impact on Restaurant (especially FF) Prices

Employers'share of social security on wages = 12.4%. The rest includes employers' share of Medicare tax, federal and state unemployment taxes. All are based on gross wages, so when that goes up, taxes go up as well.

Our state unemployment is high because we're a seasonal business and half our employees collect unemployment during the winter. Our federal unemployment is high because our state does not repay the federal government for extended benefits. No doubt there are other employers in this state and elsewhere who do not pay 25% in taxes.

Sep 20, 2014
elegraph in Not About Food

Minimum Wage Impact on Restaurant (especially FF) Prices

Gosh, if I knew I could make the same wage as a CEO, I would have gone straight into the fast food business instead of wasting time getting my degree and taking advanced coursework to keep my skills current.

Maybe we should do like the Russians used to do, tell people where they have to work, pay them all the same, and let the government distribute any and all profits to themselves and their friends. But, sadly for some, this is America where the free market reigns and some jobs are worth more pay than others, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

The fast food industry relies on an unskilled workforce, mostly teenagers and young adults passing through to another part of their life and getting some valuable on-the-job training along the way. With training, experience, good work habits and education, these young people could move up to a rewarding career in the hospitality industry. But nobody starts out at the top.

Sep 16, 2014
elegraph in Not About Food
2

Why You Should Refrigerate Tomatoes and Ignore Anyone Who Says Otherwise

Allow under-ripe tomatoes to ripen at room temperature then refrigerate them to retard spoilage. Always refrigerate cut tomatoes.

Sep 16, 2014
elegraph in Home Cooking

food safety & murdering pathogens

Agree with sunshine. In fact, I would use it within 7 days even if it were refrigerated the entire time.

Sep 16, 2014
elegraph in General Topics

Minimum Wage Impact on Restaurant (especially FF) Prices

As an employer, we pay about 25% in various taxes over and above the employee's wage. A person we pay 10.00 per hour costs us 12.50 per hour. Raise that base pay to 15.00 per hour and our costs would be 18.75 per hour, an increase of 41%. However, the customer would not see the entire increase because labor costs typically make up less than 1/3 of a restaurant's total sales.

Sep 13, 2014
elegraph in Not About Food

Minimum Wage Impact on Restaurant (especially FF) Prices

Historically, economies are strongest when they include a robust middle class.

Words of food wisdom that Food Network NEVER taught you.

Don't alter the recipe the first time you make it. Follow it to the letter, THEN tweak it for next time.

Sep 11, 2014
elegraph in Not About Food

Weight Watchers Foodies -- The Back to School Edition! September 2014 [OLD]

I don't know much about Mark Bittman but the only time I've ever lost weight without trying was when I took the 21-day vegan challenge. I still try to eat this way 1 or 2 days a week, and I do not use any crazy substitutes for real food. Eat lots of whole grains, fruit, vegetables, legumes and nuts: the high fiber ensures meals that are filling and satisfying and do not lead to cravings for sugar or fat. Take a vitamin B-12 if doing this for a lengthy time.

Sep 11, 2014
elegraph in Home Cooking
1

Guiltiest Guilty Pleasures

Battered and fried cheese curds. They must be fresh enough to squeak when you chew them. Probably a Wisconsin thing.

Sep 11, 2014
elegraph in General Topics

Soup pots

Thanks for the suggestions!

Sep 11, 2014
elegraph in Cookware

Soup pots

Can anyone recommend a good soup pot that doesn't scorch easily and is easy to clean? What should I be looking for?

Sep 09, 2014
elegraph in Cookware

New California law allows dogs to dine out

My daughter is in total agreement with you. We no longer leave the dog in the car when the outside temps exceed 70. But I think retail establishments could be more dog-friendly, especially if they are going to prosecute us. Except with puppies, I don't think there would be a lot of accidents, and unless the dog is licking your plate you won't get sick if she is nearby. And if a retailer doesn't even deal in food, how can it hurt to let us bring our dog into the store on a leash?

Sep 07, 2014
elegraph in Not About Food

Small town restaurant + Bad experience = Would you go back?

This is what happens when there is no competition. I would go to the bank, get a loan, and start up a restaurant with great food and a polite, attentive waitstaff. Sounds like a niche in the market to me.

Sep 07, 2014
elegraph in Not About Food

Red wine with America beef stew .

First, don't cook with a wine that isn't good enough to drink.

Second, a good dark beer, like Guinness Draught, is amazing in stews (instead of wine).

Lastly, if you don't like red wine or dark beer, leave it out. You will enjoy the stew more without it.

Sep 07, 2014
elegraph in Home Cooking